Anti-fracking demonstrators will rally outside the DoubleTree by Hilton in Darwin this evening (Tuesday February 22) to send a firm message to industry representatives and Morrison Government Resources Minister Keith Pitt that the polluting oil and gas is not welcome in the Territory.
Mr Pitt has told media he is unable to attend the Energy Club NT’s “Back to Business 2022 with Hon. Keith Pitt MP” $960 a table event after he contracted Covid-19, however the rally will still go ahead. Mr Pitt will reportedly deliver a virtual presentation.
Energy Club NT’s board includes representatives from Empire Energy. The company and grants it received for fracking projects in the Territory were the focus of a Senate Inquiry last year.
Mudburra Traditional Owner Ray Dixon, whose Country near Newcastle Waters is threatened by fracking, said, “The government should not be funding companies that damage Country and sacred sites.
“It’s our land, our identity, it is so important for us to keep our connection to Country. We don’t want mining companies destroying these sacred sites.
“Our water is precious and we want to cherish it. My people’s biggest concern is the protection of our ground water.
“The government should be funding more Aboriginal housing and health centres not dangerous fracking. The mining companies promise jobs and royalties but these promises rarely come true.
“We don’t want more promises of money, we want real protections for our land, water and heritage.”
Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Dan Robins said, “We’re rallying to show our opposition to dirty, polluting fracking and the danger it poses to the Northern Territory, its communities, and its fragile environment.
“The extremely limited number of people who stand to benefit economically from fracking the NT includes people who will be in this $960 a table exclusive dining event.
“Most Territorians can’t afford $960 for a dinner, and we absolutely cannot afford the disadvantage and destruction fracking will bring to the Territory. That’s why we will be demonstrating to tell these executives and their political backers that frackers are not welcome in the NT.”